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Old 05-15-2020, 08:33 PM
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Default Using lead for 357 Mag mid velocity

I load a lot of coated lead for my 1911's, 38 Specials and 9 mm. I've loaded a fair amount of 357 mag also but always used FMJ because of the velocity. It's my understanding that lead will foul a barrel if the velocity is over 1000 fps. I stopped loading 357 mag a few years ago for several reasons. I sold my rifle and I stopped using 357 loads in my model 19's. Recently I moved to coated lead for all of my revolvers and pistols except an HK.

So now I want to get back into shooting 357 and I would like to use coated lead. I plan on loading around 1200 fps, or mid range loads. My Hornady manual has Cowboy loads for lead but those are 800 fps or slower.

Does anyone have any experience using coated 158's at 1200 fps? What is the accuracy like? Notice any leading?

Thanks
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Old 05-15-2020, 08:55 PM
38SPL HV 38SPL HV is online now
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Suggest that you purchase a Lyman Cast Bullet manual...depending on barrel length, you can achieve 1,200 FPS with the 158 gr cast SWC with 2400 powder without leading (key is having the bullet properly sized at an alloy which is neither too hard or too soft. I like a BNH of 12-15 in my applications). 1,200 FPS using 2400 and cast 158 gr SWC is typically a sweet spot for accuracy...and 1,200 FPS is a magnum velocity.

Unique or Herco are best used for mid range 158 gr cast loads, 1,000-1,100 FPS.

Have fun!

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Old 05-15-2020, 08:56 PM
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Cast bullets work great in the 357 Mags at higher velocities and have for years. The key is figuring out the combo of hardness, size and velocity. Size is most critical, as compared to your cylinder throats. Hardness - most people go too hard and the result is more leading, not less, due to the bullet not obdurating enough to prevent gas cutting.

I'd suggest hopping over to the castboolit website and ask your question there. There are many threads just on coated bullets and loads.
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Old 05-15-2020, 10:08 PM
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You can use lead or coated bullets in your .357 for fun shooting.

I save the under 150gr for my 38 special and use the 158gr for the Magnum, since recoil is not a problem and they are accurate in my weapons.

A 158 lead can start out at 788fps with Trail Boss and go up to 1320fps if needed, medium fast powders.

My coated bullets settled in at 1108fps but every weapon and powder mix can be different, so you just need to try out bullet weights and powders.

Have fun.
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Old 05-15-2020, 11:01 PM
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I rarely ever shoot jacketed bullets in my 357 revolvers or rifle.

I load to what I consider "mid-range" velocity, which to me is 1,000 fps with good accuracy. While I've loaded hotter, I find 1,000 fps is all I need for target shooting with a good handgun out to 100 yards and a bit further as well as vermin at normal ranges.

As noted above, a not too hard of an alloy is all you need in the 357 as long as it is size properly with a good lube applied.

By the way, I just shot a bag full of these loads today from my Model 27 and not a speck of leading in the barrel.
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Old 05-15-2020, 11:12 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 38SPL HV View Post
Suggest that you purchase a Lyman Cast Bullet manual...depending on barrel length, you can achieve 1,200 FPS with the 158 gr cast SWC with 2400 powder without leading (key is having the bullet properly sized at an alloy which is neither too hard or too soft. I like a BNH of 12-15 in my applications). 1,200 FPS using 2400 and cast 158 gr SWC is typically a sweet spot for accuracy...and 1,200 FPS is a magnum velocity.

Unique or Herco are best used for mid range 158 gr cast loads, 1,000-1,100 FPS.

Have fun!
Funny you mentioned 2400. That's the powder I have and will use that. I also have a bunch of coated 158's SWC bullets. Not sure of the dia but hardness is 16. They all came from Acme. I plan on purchasing a M27 or 586 soon.
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Old 05-16-2020, 12:26 AM
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Everyone mentions size , and yes that is important . Bullet lube is just as important . The commercial casters usually use a hard lube as it ships better . The problem is that it's as hard as crayons and that's all it's really good for--- is crayons . I cast/size/lube my own bullets . I can tell you this much . I never concern myself about velocity . If I want to " crank it up " using a case full of H-110 I do it using my own cast bullets that are plain based . Leading is never a problem for me . I have done some powder coating of my own cast bullets , again no concern about velocity , be it " mild or wild " . Just a couple of weeks ago I was out shooting my Marlin 1894 rifle chambered in 44-40 . The cast bullets are very soft , I was using smokeless powder and my velociities was right @ 1300 fps. The barrel was shiny clean , NO lead at all . So , telling someone that shooting cast bullets @ velocities reaching 1000 fps will cause leading is just not true , but shooting swaged bullets at higher velocities can be a problem . There are many reasons for lead in the barrel . Regards Paul
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Old 05-16-2020, 12:34 AM
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I drive full throttle .357 158 grain cast bullets out of a Marlin 1894 without leading issues. If you get things right, a lot is possible with a lead bullet.
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Old 05-16-2020, 02:24 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LostintheOzone
Does anyone have any experience using coated 158's at 1200 fps? What is the accuracy like? Notice any leading?
I also have a bunch of coated 158's SWC bullets. They all came from Acme.
It's just going to depend to a combination of things as to whether, when, or where you get leading.

I don't shoot lead anymore but the last 357 coated lead bullet I did use was Acme's .3584" 158gr LSWC-HT.

With mostly moderate speed powders the Acme bullets did fine in revolvers I previously had leading issues in.

My hottest load with them, before I ran out of bullets, was 7.5gr/P-P @ ~1184fps, without issues. (8.0gr would be right at 1200fps, Handloader #302)

Their bullets were good & their wooden boxes are cool.

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Old 05-16-2020, 03:14 PM
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Coated is all I buy anymore. I don't cast and coat my own. I've pushed coated bullets over 1300fps in 357mag without leading. I've also had coated bullets lead a barrel at 800fps. If the bullet maker is using hi-tek coating and applying it correctly, you can push them hard.
I take 1 bullet from every order of coated I buy and test it. Will a fingernail scrape the coating off? Wipe the bullet down with acetone. Did it soften the coating or color rub off? Smack the bullet with a hammer to flatten it. Did the coating crack or peel? I it fails any of these tests, I'm on the phone to complain.
Not long ago I ordered from a well known bullet manufacturer. The 147gr. 9mm bullets passed. the 240gr. 44 SWC's fail miserably when I peeled the coating off with a fingernail.
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Old 05-16-2020, 03:21 PM
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That's the info I'm looking for. Thanks to all who contributed.
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Old 05-16-2020, 04:43 PM
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My .357,41 and 44 Mag all play in the 1300plus fps(chronoed).I cast my own and make my own lube.Like Cowboy says,I tend to go soft for the lube.I don't have any leading in my guns exept one(.44)which has a tight spot in the barrel where the tube screws in the frame.I'm sure once it'll be lapped out that it won't lead anymore.
I shoot my 38-55 at 1450fps,no gc and no leading.So yes,if the bullet fits you can push it at safe max speed in Magnum handguns.
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Old 05-16-2020, 07:24 PM
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Coated hold up fine at 1200fps. I run coated in my 357sig to 1300fps with no issues. When I get back into my 357mags, they will only get coated lead.
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